The “wicked stepmother” was a classic literary metaphor in ancient fairy tales, including Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel, and Gretel.
But while Cinderella had a difficult upbringing – abused by a cruel stepmother – a new study suggests that she may have outlived her evil wives.
Researchers from East Carolina University studied data from more than 400,000 individuals born between 1847 and 1940 in Utah.
The researchers found that, regardless of the gender of their father who is married again, it was found that the death rates of the husband’s children are lower than others.
Evil stepmother Lady Tremaine, who has two daughters, Drizella (left) and Anastasia (right) in the Disney movie. Inspired by depictions of fathers’ wives, researchers investigated the differences in survival between stepchildren and their siblings and siblings.
STEPMOTHER was blown up for a “sinister” Facebook post
In December my stepmother spread through a terrifying post asking for advice on how to “get rid” of her fiancé’s four-year-old daughter.
The unnamed woman shared the post with Instagram life coach @talkswithmee before reposting it to a Facebook group.
Explaining the situation, the woman said that she was seven months pregnant and engaged to a widow whose wife died with their daughter.
She claimed that the little girl was a “constant” reminder of her fiancé’s late wife and said she feared that it would “take away” their bond from her child’s relationship with him.
The woman was blown up and described as “evil” and likened to Cinderella’s vicious stepmother.
Read more: The stepmother asks how to get rid of her husband’s child
The study was conducted by Ryan Schacht, anthropologist at the University of East Carolina in the United States, and other experts at the University of Utah.
“The loss of a parent, the arrival of mothers’ wives, and the birth of half-siblings all affect the husband’s / wife’s survival,” the study authors say.
“We see harmful effects of the death of parents, yet they are beneficial effects of remarriage of the parents and the birth of half-siblings.”
The team wanted to investigate whether successful life outcomes were related to association with older people in the family.
Previously, it was thought that parents were expected to “prioritize investments” in their biological children and be less anxious about the children they had inherited.
This belief may be the reason for the negative images of stepmothers in fiction – perhaps most famously in the popular tale of Cinderella, adapted for the big screen by Disney in the 1950’s.
“ Husband and wife children are said to have worse life outcomes – less survival, more abuse and neglect – compared to children who live in homes with both biological parents, ” Schacht told MailOnline.
The explanation was that parents are responsible for these negative outcomes.
This relationship has been dubbed the “Cinderella effect” as a nod to the fairy tale, but it was rooted in arguments based on evolution.
In the story, Cinderella’s father marries the wicked Lady Tremaine, and she has two daughters, Anastasia and Drizzella.
Cinderella, pictured here in a Disney quote, suffers at the hands of her cruel stepmother, Mrs. Tremin
Cinderella’s father died soon after, and the hero was forced to work as a carpet-washing maid for Lady Tremaine and her two sisters, who presumably lost their biological father.
The characterization of the evil stepmother is also used in some adaptations of the Evil Queen in Disney’s Snow White and the witch eater in Hansel and Gretel.
“Folk tales of parental abuse abound across cultures and are included in the stories taught to children,” the researchers say.
For their study, the team looked at data from children under the age of 18, born between 1847 and 1940, and their siblings (416,325 people in total).
“We target this time period because it is characterized by natural fertility, large families and an agricultural lifestyle – all the hallmarks of the family and the economic conditions from which folk tales of parental abuse have emerged,” the team says.
Antagonist The Evil Queen (left) with protagonist Snow White (right) as portrayed in The Sleeping Snow White by Hans Makart (1872)
Researchers compared individuals who became stepchildren with children who did not – and found that they were foster children with lower mortality rates.
The children of a husband / wife have never had a worse life than the other children who also lost one of their parents but whose other surviving parent never remarried.
“We found that remarriage and admission of the mother’s husband into the home were not associated with an increased risk of death for the husband’s children,” they reported.
“When we look specifically at which parent died, we find that regardless of the gender of the parent who remarries, the children of the husband / wife have a lower mortality risk than other children.”
At another stage of their analysis, the researchers found that the stepchildren boosted their survival over their half-siblings (who were born by their biological parents and spouse), even though they were not sure why.
In general, among both children of a spouse or non-husband, the mother, but not the father, death was significantly related to the excess deaths of both sons and daughters.
This likely tossed a key in the study results, since Cinderella lost her mother at a young age.
The team concludes that their work helps address problems between spouses and children of the husband in the modern era.
They stress that the husband’s children are “an integral part of the family’s functioning” today, through caring for their siblings and “stabilizing relationships.”
Parents should also invest the love and support of their children as a form of “relationship commitment” in order to develop and maintain their second marriage.
They state in their paper, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. “This work contributes to the recognized increasing importance of cooperative relationships between non-relatives in childcare and home performance.”
The real ‘evil stepmother’: The Duchess of Sutherland shocked Victorian society with her scandalous case and left her stepchildren in rage as she tried to deprive them of an inheritance
In 1875, the townhouse in Hyde Park Gate became the home of Mary Caroline Blair (née Mitchell) in London and her husband, Captain Arthur Blair, whom she married in 1872.
Captain Blair has served since 1861 as a land agent and financial advisor to George Sutherland-Levison-Gower, 3rd Duke of Sutherland (1828-1892). At the time, the Duke was one of the wealthiest people in Britain, owning 1.4 million acres of land and Lancaster House, a private mansion in the mall next to Buckingham Palace.
At the Hyde Park Gate, Blair enjoyed the third Duke of Sutherland, Duke’s sister Constance (Duchess of Westminster), Lord Ronald Gore (younger brother of the Duke of Sutherland), and Oscar Wilde, who was close friends with both Constance and Lord. Adjacent.
In 1882, Mary Blair became the mistress of the Duke of Sutherland and in 1883 when her husband died after a shooting accident, gossip speculated it was a suicide or homicide, although the official ruling was an accidental death.
As biographer Catherine Layton documented in her 2018 book Power Play: The Life and Times of Mary, Dowager Duchess of Sutherland, the relationship between the married duke (whose wife Anne was a friend of Queen Victoria) and the widow continued after her husband’s death. .
The Duchess of Sutherland’s “Wicked Stepmother” headlines (pictured left) influenced publisher Harry Clarke in his 1922 work, The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault; The book’s illustrations helped create Mrs. Tremin, the stepmother (pictured right) in the classic Disney animated movie Cinderella of 1950
But in 1889 Mary caused a scandal when she married the Duke just four months after the death of the Duke’s estranged wife. This marriage broke the aristocratic tradition that widows should not marry again for a year, and it opposed a written request from Queen Victoria to the Duke who was still mourning Anne’s death.
The new Duchess was estranged from society, and in 1892, when the Duke died, Mary left his fortune, instead of leaving his possessions to the children from his first marriage; His son Cromarty, fourth Duke of Sutherland, and his daughters Mrs. Florence and Mrs. Alexandra.
Although the will was contested, the court case was complicated by the Duchess’s burning of the document (which set out rulings for her children). Mary was imprisoned for contempt of court but to avoid further scandal, the 4th Duke of Sutherland reached an agreement with his “evil stepmother”.
I got enough money to build Carbisdale Castle in Scotland and maintain the cottage at Hyde Park Gate.
Mary’s antics at the Hyde Park Gate affected Oscar Wilde, with a photo of the Duchess appearing alongside an advertisement and editorial about an insignificant woman, published in The Illustrated London News on April 29, 1893.
Public relations expert Oscar Wilde set the play’s premiere on the night the Duchess went to a widow’s Holloway Jill, leading to further publicity for both the play and Mary.
The titles “Her Wicked Stepmother” influenced publisher Harry Clarke in his 1922 work, The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault; The book’s illustrations helped create Mrs. Tremin, the stepmother in the classic Disney animated movie Cinderella of 1950.